What missing velocity? Aroldis Chapman hits 102.6 mph after taking four days off

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Aroldis Chapman had everyone worried last week when his triple-digit fastball dripped all the way into the low-90s, leading even teammates to publicly question his health.

However, after being shut down for four days by the Reds he returned to the mound last night looking like his usual overpowering self against the Pirates, albeit in a mop-up role.

Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth inning in a 9-3 loss and MLB.com’s pitch-fx system tracked his average fastball at 100.3 miles per hour.

Not quite the 104-106 mph range that created so many headlines last season, but he topped out at 102.6 mph and clearly the time off did Chapman’s velocity some good. In fact, the one slider Chapman threw last night registered at 91.5 mph, which isn’t far off from where his fastball was at last week.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.